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wallos Jun 4th, 2009 09:53 PM

Family Trip to Vietnam - confirm our ideas
Our family ,2 adults and 2 kids (12 & 16) are heading to Vietnam during October. We arrive and depart in Saigon. Please comment on our plans so far -
Day 1 - arrive pm stay Saigon Palace Hotel
Day 2 - am free pm Chu Chi tunnels
Day 3 - Mekong Delta day trip
Day 4 - free ( maybe Waterpark) . Late flight to DaNang. Stay HoiAn Palm Garden Resort
Day 5 - free
Day 6 - ecotour - basket boats ?marble mountain ?
Day 7-free
Day 8 - pm fly to Hanoi and transfer to Halong Bay Tuan Chau resort
Day 9 -free
Day 10 - free
Day 11- Halong Bay overnight boat trip on HuongHai Junk with Kayaks
Day 12 - pm return to Hanoi Army Hotel , puppet show in evening
Day 13 - am city tour pm night markets
Day 14 - am flight to Saigon 1/2 day tour of city Depart for Oz 10pm
Please comment on weather, accommodation, restaurants, day trips or any other suggestions. Our kids are reasonable travelers but prefer to be based for a few days in one place. We are not that keen on the war museums etc. Should we have an extra day in Hoi An and only one free day in Halong as I am not sure what else there is to do there other than the boat trips ??

Smeagol Jun 4th, 2009 10:01 PM

My first comment would be that it is monsoon season in central Vietnam during October, so there is a very good chance of LOTS of rain in Hoi an. (We are going to Vietnam in November and have chosen to avoid that area for that reason)
From what i have read about Hanoi i think 2 day there may be too short? we have 4 days booked and am struggling to fit everything in.
Am sure those who have actually been will chime in soon.

Kathie Jun 5th, 2009 06:10 AM

Given that DaNang gets an average of 22 inches of rain in October, you might want to rethink your plans. I wouldn't go anywhere in central VN in October.

Kathie Jun 5th, 2009 06:10 AM

oops- posted too soon

take a look at for each location you are considering.

jm1971 Jun 5th, 2009 08:00 AM

I was in Vietnam last October and visited most of the places you are planning to visit. Even though I was forewarned I chose to include central Vietnam just because I didn't know when I would have a chance to return.
The first two days in Hue it was actually sunny! I remember thinking, well maybe I'll beat this monsoon thing, well the third day on the drive south to Hoi An we hit the rains. It was torrential and literally rained for 2 days and nights non stop. I have never seen rains like this. I always thought during the monsoon it would rain a few hours then stop but not so. Most of the rivers flood as does the town of Hoi An. In a way I was lucky because at least I got to see some of Hoi An. My guide said in November the flooding sometimes gets so bad they don't allow tourists in.
I stayed at the Palm Garden resort. Beautiful hotel, great spa, on the beach but again hard to enjoy in the rains.
On the other hand, the weather in Saigon, Hanoi and Halong was great. Mostly sunny, I think there was an afternoon shower in Saigon but other than that nice.
I definitely think you need more time in Hanoi. I LOVED the city. I spent four days there and loved every minute.
Halong I found to be very scenic, it is very similar to Phang Nga bay in southern Thailand. 2 days in Halong was plenty for me.
I would reconsider the central Vietnam portion of your trip. it really is a beautiful place, the drive through the mountain pass from Hue is quite spectacular, but hard to enjoy in all the rain. I personally would like to revisit there someday in the drier seasons

crellston Jun 5th, 2009 11:55 PM

I have evisited Vietnam many time over teh last 20 years at most times of the year and have come to realise that teh one thing you cannot depend on is the weather. In Sapa a couple of years ago in the space of a few days we had blue skie +75f, rain, fog, sleet an near freezing temps. That said the chances of rain (and it will be heavy) in Hue and environs will be v.high. It is a great place but if the rain bothers you (particularly with children to keep amused) then avoid it.

With 14 days, I would not try to see too many places and with 14 days to play with I think you have about the right amount of time in HMC i would not discount the museums completely, the Reunification Place is definitely worth a shot. I see you have included a day trip tp the delta but you may wish to extend this to an overnight stay and you would see a lot more. If the kids are up for it I would also recommend a trip to the May 15th school for street kids in District 1 - very moving.

Hanoi has more than enough to keep you occupied for 4/5 days morbid maybe, but seeing Ho Chi Minh's mummified body should and his nearby house is worth a visit and there are many, many more sights to see inside and outside Hanoi (you could easily spend a day in the old quarter). From Hanoi you could do and overnight trip to stay in the unspoiled countryside of the Mai Chau valley for a tast of rural Vietnam.

There were way too many other tourists in Halong Bay for my tastes and I think one day would be enough. You could also consider a train trip to Sapa for a couple of days.

Have fun its a great country.

lotra Jun 8th, 2009 12:49 AM

that seems good

Kathie Jun 8th, 2009 05:46 AM

I would definitely spend more time in Hanoi.

The rain issue in central VN isn't just a matter of the weather being wet and some flooding. In two out of every three years, the flooding is so severe in central VN that there are deaths from the flooding.

It will be easy for you to find plenty to do in other areas of VN to fill your vacation time.

SaraJane Jun 14th, 2009 05:58 AM

I have been to Tuan Chua twice with my family and it is very nice and the beach is decent. There are so many nice restaurants in Hanoi and it really depends on what you are looking for. I would do a separate post for restaurants in Hanoi.

Kathie Jun 14th, 2009 07:39 AM

And where is the OP? Wallos, you seem to have deserted us once you asked your question. Do come back and tell us what you have decided.

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